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Hopslam Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Hopslam AleHopslam Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

9,765 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,765
Reviews: 3,114
rAvg: 4.49
pDev: 9.58%
Wants: 1,854
Gots: 1,451 | FT: 42
Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc. visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
Brewed with honey. Hoppy as hell.

(Beer added by: beernbbq on 04-14-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 9,765 | Reviews: 3,114 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of zook74


4.75/5  rDev +5.8%

Holy hell, this stuff is awesome! I had to come back and update after finishing off my 3rd six pack of this LUCIOUS beer. This is definitely into my top five favorite brews now. Spanking! good stuff!

I was almost put off by the note on the bottle telling me that this was brewed with honey, but I'm sure glad I bought the hype and tried it anyway.

The boquet is gorgeous. One of the best-smelling beers ever!

Great flavor. That honey really pairs nicely with the wicked, over-the-top hop flavor. It's subtle, but definitely there.

At 10%abv you don't need many, but at $15+/six pack that's probably a good thing.

01-22-2009 16:40:23 | More by zook74
Photo of MCfunkyJ


5/5  rDev +11.4%

It's to bad that they limit the quantity. This is a brew I would like to stock all year round.

Pours: gold/amber with a nice thick head that quickly dispersed

Aroma: sweet fruit & hoppy smell

Taste: exceptional Hops taste

Mouthfeel: medium, sweet but not to strong

Drinkability: the aftertaste leaves you wanting more

Serving type: 12oz bottle

01-22-2009 07:19:11 | More by MCfunkyJ
Photo of twbrewer


4.47/5  rDev -0.4%

A-Clear dark gold/amber color.Thin,white head that quickly fades.

S-Huge grapefruit and apricot nose,slight orange zest scent,very floral bouquet.Plain and simple this smells fruity sweet and fun!

T-Apricot sweetness with a big malt backbone.Finishes with a nice hop bitterness that is very sweet yet very malty.Awesome balance.

M-Full bodied almost syrupy.Slick and oily feel and very sticky on the lips.

D-..Speechless.. Oh ya it's 10%!

01-22-2009 06:37:02 | More by twbrewer
Photo of brewdlyhooked13


4.97/5  rDev +10.7%

Appearance - pours a bright peachy color into a pint glass. 16 ounces, yippee!!! Good sheeted lacing forms large ribboned patches on the glass as the beer level falls.

Aroma - intense orange, grapefruit, pine tree. Wow, what a nose on this baby.

Taste - the base of the caramel malt gets a fair start, but these hops are the main stage and prove it immediately. Sweet, almost syrupy, certainly boozy, but oh so tasty. The same citrusy components in the smell are here in force, as billed. The swallow removes the beer from the mouth but not the flavor. The resiny staying power is really good, and the freshness of the tap is ideal.

Mouthfeel - a big body here, the carbonation is noticeeable but not intrusive. Makes the beer as big as it should be.

Drinkability - one to seek out year after year, mmm...

01-22-2009 04:15:53 | More by brewdlyhooked13
Photo of mothman

United Kingdom (Wales)

4.4/5  rDev -2%


Batch 8913... only 9 days from being packaged!

Poured into New Belgium Globe glass. Color is a hazy golden/orange bronze. Pours a large head with good retention. Leaves great lace rings.

Aroma is an incredible hop aroma. So much floral notes. There are some fruit and citrus notes as well. Strong grapefruit and orange zest smell. Some honey as well.

Taste is like I am eating flowers (which I have not done). There is such an incredible hop flavor to it. There is such a grapefruit flavor to it. I would also say it has a slight bready malt flavor to it and honey.

Mouthfeel is bitter, but it is not even bad compared to any other ipa or iipa. The beer also gets smooth near the end. The one great part about this beer is that it doesn't leave a hardcore dry sticky aftertaste. The 10% abv is masked so well in this beer.

Overall, this is one amazing beer. I have to admit it is the best that I have had yet to date. It is really easy to drink and I will definitely be enjoying another.

I highly recommend this beer!

EDIT: The 09/10 seemed to have a lot more honey than the batch that I reviewed. I liked it.

01-22-2009 03:18:46 | More by mothman
Photo of Schwarz04


4.7/5  rDev +4.7%

Appearance: Pale light tint of orange/amber. A bit cloudy, slight carbonation. Little lasting head, some spotty lacing as well.

Smell: Very very hoppy grassy and floral smelling. Slight citrus notes, orange comes through the strongest...

Taste: Quite hoppy and bitter. Grassy and floral notes are by far dominant. Very faint citus notes also come through..

Mouthfeel: An enhanced bitterness accompanied by a mild dryness afterward...

Drinkability: Very very drinkable considering its 10% abv . Not any kind of session beer but could easily drink two or three.

Highly recommend...

01-22-2009 02:55:12 | More by Schwarz04
Photo of bound4er


4.83/5  rDev +7.6%

Drank over a case of this last year but never reviewed - here goes.

Appearance - a stiff pour produces a 2 finger white sticky head. Dark straw to very light orange appearance with lots of tiny carbonation bubbles. The head has good retention - settling to a 1/4" and staying that way.

Smell - holy cow! This beer's nose is the best I have ever experienced. I can smell it from where it sits on my end-table. First comes a wave of sweet tropical and pit fruits - mango, peach and grapefruit. Then a more tamed wave of pine and grass. No noticeable alcohol either!

Taste - sometimes a great smelling beer can be a letdown on the palate. Not HopSlam. It tastes fantastic - grapefruit and pine hops, some balancing malt and a long, clean bitter finish that invites you back way too quickly for another swig. Good god this is well made beer.

Mouthfeel - very creamy and perfectly carbonated.

Drinkability - two is max for me. I wish I could have more in a session but it would put me on my ass. Maybe that's good - it allows me to savor this elixir for a longer timeframe.

01-22-2009 02:04:28 | More by bound4er
Photo of n811


4.83/5  rDev +7.6%

Just picked up a sixer of this year's release. Poured into a pint glass, revealing a nice, mellow head and a beautiful light amber color.

The smell of this beer is absolutely out of this world - strong grapefruit and apricot citrusy is up front, with a subtle hint of hoppy piney-ness. Spectacular!

Taste is what I've been waiting for. This beer is so well balanced contrary to the smell. One might expect it to have a super bitter taste given the way it smells (plus the name), but this beer is all about major amounts of hops but enough malt and hops to make things very well balanced. I can't really think up the right words to describe it, but this is one of the best beers I've ever had. The top of Bells' lineup in my opinion.

01-22-2009 01:06:53 | More by n811
Photo of SwiftyMcBeer


4.58/5  rDev +2%

Poured a little cloudy gold color with a white head that retained quite nicely. This smells like hops, the freshest, juiciest, citrusy hops you can imagine. You can smell your glass from around 3 feet away, it is as pungent as it gets. Just delicious. Taste is stellar as well. It is a hop fest, with almost no malt, but somehow the finish is mellow. Where you expect an insane and almost overwhelming bitterness, you get a pleasant hint of sweetness instead. Could it be honey that causes this gentle finish? Whatever magic mojo they have working, who cares, it's darn good, probably the best DIPA I've had. Can't believe it is 10%, that could get you into trouble really quick. So drinkable, that smooth finish doesn't destroy your palate, encouraging you to have another.

Yes this is a pretty pricey beer and it is a limited release, but you know what, who cares? Every winter, this magical brew comes into our lives out here in the midwest and helps remind us that spring will come.

01-21-2009 14:21:43 | More by SwiftyMcBeer
Photo of BgThang


4.93/5  rDev +9.8%


I am glad I did not review some of the previous bottles I received in trade. They were a little calm compared to a fresh hopslam. THIS IS CLOSE to being the best DIPA when its fresh!.

Nose - straight up grapefruit, citrus, piney. man its an explosion in the olde nasal cavity.

appearance - little cloudy, copperish orange color. Little head.

Mouthfeel - little tangy on the front end and then grapefruit. Mellow out on the finish and leave a smooth refreshing aftertaste.

This is one fine brew. I can sit here a sniff it all freaking night,.

Its sad that its only release as a seasonal, its overpriced, and can be hard to get ahold of.

01-21-2009 06:14:49 | More by BgThang
Photo of caskstrength


4.68/5  rDev +4.2%

fresh 2009 bottling.

pours hazy yellow, what you expect from an IPA/DIPA.

smell is, again, what you (I) want,but I will say not as intense as I might expect after tasting this gem...

and the taste. Yeah, the taste. Rich citrus with sweet grapefruit. Like when my mom cut up the little grapefruit triangles and put the sugar on top and I had it for breakfast on a lazy weekend morning. It's like that, but squeezed into my glass with 10% alcohol.

Mouthfeel and drinkability are where this beer shines even more for me. Exactly what I want. Thick, but not syrupy. And who the hell would believe there is so much alcohol there. Wonderfully (dangerously) hidden. Could drink these all night. And then suffer a day or two after. And then forget about it and drink these all night again. Repeat ad nauseum.

A gem.

01-21-2009 02:13:10 | More by caskstrength
Photo of brucer1


4.63/5  rDev +3.1%

love this beer. too bad it's hard to find and available for such a short time. pours clear, little head, little lacing. smells of grapefruit very citrusy. exceptionally hopped nice bitterness. i shouldn't have more than one since i'm working tommorrow, but i will. this one is just too good.

01-21-2009 00:40:08 | More by brucer1
Photo of BierFan


4.53/5  rDev +0.9%

Bottle is labelled as being from batch number 8908, which means it was bottled on January 5th meaning that this is only 2 weeks and 1 day old. Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a Duvel tulip glass.

Appearance: A clear amber/orange body sporting a very modest off-white head.

Smell: Almost overwhelmingly hoppy. Some sweet caramel maltiness is overshadowed by the huge citrus peel and grapefruit aromas from the hops.

Taste: Crazy delicious. Super hoppy and bitter. No trace of the alcohol.

Drinkability: Amazingly drinkable for being 10% abv.

This beer definitely lives up to the hype. It makes Stone Ruination seem like Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.

01-20-2009 23:21:42 | More by BierFan
Photo of youngleo


3.98/5  rDev -11.4%

Poured to a one fingered head that didnt last long. Did have some big bubbles around the edges and left some lacing. Ale was yellowish brown in color. Head had a slight orange tint. Smelled like grapefruit, pine, and malt. No alcohol was detected. Had a strong grapefruit flavor. Along with that piney hops. Also hints of malt. Had a slight bitter aftertaste. Actually not as strong as I thought it would be. Felt good in the mouth. I thought the carbonation was right. Another ale that you would have to be carefull while enjoying. The taste is so good and smooth, all you want to do is gulp it down. With the higher alcohol content you would have to be carefull. I had a good buzz after two.

01-20-2009 19:18:34 | More by youngleo
Photo of WakeandBake


4.65/5  rDev +3.6%

Clear orange poor with a small offwhite head and a little lacing. Aromas of grapefruit zest, oranges, peaches, pepper, pine, creamy caramel and hoppy. Sweet start but the bitter peppery bitterness hits you big time right at the end. Slightly sweeter than most IIPAs. Alcohol is present but far from overwhelming. Smooth, creamy and velvetty mouthfeel. Taste is very citrusy and very hoppy as well. Tastes amazingly fresh.As it warms the flavor changes to a very nice sugary grapefruit. Very Good.

01-20-2009 01:35:59 | More by WakeandBake
Photo of midnite2sixman


4.47/5  rDev -0.4%

Pour: Light orange in color with a lot of lacing and a frothy head.

Smell: Citrus blast along with the obvious Hops. Lots of pine. A bit of fruitiness too.

T: Smooth and even despite being so hop heavy. Quite a delight to drink. Cannot get over how easy this is to drink.

M: Too easy, and too smooth for a beer this potent.

D: Heck yes. Drink it and drink it often.

01-19-2009 21:57:11 | More by midnite2sixman
Photo of optiontwo


4.5/5  rDev +0.2%

10oz. pour at the midnight release at Bryant Lake Bowl. Walked in to have a tasty app and a beer and found out this was happening so I had to stick around.

Appearance: Hazy dark orange with gold and red hues, quarter inch white head with decent retention, and medium lacing.

Smell: Resinous hops with all the citrus aroma you could ask for but more complexity than one would think. First the expected grapefruit and pine, but then some grassiness, and finally sweet malt smell. Can't wait to dive in.

Taste: This is truly one hoppy M F'er. It starts with a bitter bite, let's you taste some of those delicious fruit flavors the aroma promised, and then comes back to kick you with hop bitterness again, finishing with slight heat from the alcohol. Also in the background is the grassiness detected in the smell but it's hard to notice at first because of the initial hop attack. Candied grapefruit, orange, and lemon come to mind and are the dominant fruit flavors but for some reason I feel like I can taste grape or cherry in there, odd but delicious.

Mouthfeel: Plenty of carbonation, medium body (for a DIPA), bitter bite throughout, and alcohol heat at the end.

Drinkability: This is one to be careful with. It's so good that you'll want more and more but two glasses and you're easily past tipsy.

Overall: The way that Two Hearted opened my eyes to craft brew and IPAs, Hopslam opened my eyes to more extreme beers and DIPAs. I have plenty to thank Bell's for. I've had lots of DIPAs since my first Hopslam but it still sits as one of my favorites. Try this beer.

*Note: It's hard to recall but I feel like this tasted a little more earthy/grassy than last years. Maybe this is fresher than I had ever tried it last year, either way not a bad thing. I'd be curious to find out what kind of hops they use, if I had to guess a couple I'd say centennial is in there and maybe amarillo or cascade.

01-19-2009 20:35:33 | More by optiontwo
Photo of Itoclown


4.93/5  rDev +9.8%

Purchased in a six pack from Wayne's Deli in Muskegon. Drank out of a Duvel tulip. Waited 2 weeks to finally buy it.

Look: Orange/Light brown with a little frothy head. Foam stays around the edge of the glass until completely consumed.
Smell: When I opened it, I could smell it from two feet away. This is the best smelling beer I've ever smelled. EVER. Smells heavy of hops and pine. Smooth smell.
Taste/mouthfeel: Delicious hops that mirrors the smell. This is the best "extreme" hops beer I've ever had. Quenches your thirst. Also has hints of pine and citrus. You can't taste the alcohol at all.

Overall: Just as awesome as I remembered it last year. Unbelievable brew. Sucks that it's only out one month a year but I guess it makes the taste even more desired. If you haven't tried it. GET IT NOW! Get it fresh. This definitely holds up to its status as one of the top beers in the world. So lucky to come from Michigan.

01-19-2009 20:17:10 | More by Itoclown
Photo of sacullen


4.3/5  rDev -4.2%

Ahh, my first Hopslam. Batch 8907 bottled on 1/6/2009.

A: Pours a clear, dark orange color with a thick white head that stays around. Laces the glass well.

S: Smells of pine and grapefruit.

T: Tastes like it smells. The hops are not overpowering, though they make their presence known. The honey is difficult to taste but tames the hops for balance.

M: Medium mouthfeel, slightly oily that coats the tongue and keeps the taste in the back of your mouth.

D: Easy to drink more than one, but be careful. No way to tell it's 10% in either the aroma or taste.

01-19-2009 19:41:05 | More by sacullen
Photo of hoppheadIPA


4.7/5  rDev +4.7%

Had to share my only bottle with my neighbor. Pours an amber golden color with a thick white head that laces the glass perfectly. Smells of brilliant grapefriut citrus hops with a touch of apricot and malt. Freshly cut citrus comes to mind. Absolutly the best smelling beer on earth. Tastes of citrusy grapefruit with a perfect touch of honey. Brilliantly balanced. Mouthfeel is great but drinkability is low due to being so high in alcohal.

01-19-2009 17:14:58 | More by hoppheadIPA
Photo of gdfan47


4.55/5  rDev +1.3%

A-pours a nice yellow with a touch off of white head and a little lacing
S- hops, spicy , hops, a touch of pot, faint faint honey smells
T- like hops, no skimping here, for a midwestern brewery they really got the west coast mentality, a touch of citrus fruits, very fresh tasting, its def a pleaser for fans of hops
M- nice carbonation, the hops def win over the malt
D- wow 10 percent, kinda hard to detect the higher abv , goes down way to smooth

enjoy but be careful, its a 10 percent abv beer

01-19-2009 17:08:12 | More by gdfan47
Photo of jebert


4.78/5  rDev +6.5%

This is it...round two of a Grand Slam! Last year's batch, #8283 was my first encounter with this luxurious, liquid libation. This year's batch, #8908 is all about consistency, strength amid weakness, and forbearance against a long, cold winter. Following last year's release, I managed to round up the remaining several 6 packs in close proximity of La Crosse as well as 4 additional ones from Eau Claire. This year, I made a point to special order two cases of the Slam.

Last night, I opened on of my two remaining batch #8283's. This was 365 days from initial bottling. Today, #8908 awaits my unworthy lips. Packaged January 5th, it's a wonder it arrived in WI within days of bottling.

One unique aspects of this beer is the label. An all green (hoppy) background contains three giant hops concealing what must be a stallwart individual. Beneath the hops, laid out flat on his back is a brutus of a man. Check out the two arms. Not the hairs. Check out the feet. Size 12-13, to be sure. The batch number is conspicuously printed on the side of the label. Go out to www.bellsbeer.com and enter the batch number.

Original Gravity: 1.087
Alc. by Volume: 10.0% - 280 Calories

Get ready...this is a "A biting, bitter, tongue bruiser of an ale. With a name like Hopslam, what did you expect?"

Presentation: Typical brown glass, 12 oz bottle. The cap tightly sealed, gasped as I popped it open, wondering why it's owner waited so long. I retain the Bell's impronted cap and added it to my wall of fame. This is a keeper.

Appearance: - This beer pours to a light orange pineapple colour with a delightfully busy swirl of hoppy bubbles. Perfect carbonation, as I've seen from mostinf not all of Bell's beer. A nice, 1.5" dirty but thick creamy head lasts forever. Catching the light, a slight yellow hue glances at me, tempting a sudden engagement.

Smell - A stalwart grassy, citris nose, comprised mostly of watermelon, grapefruit and pineapple. a after scent of mango, perhaps sits just aside of the main rise. The tone of this beer is sensual, espeially considering the blast of hops that awaits the tase. I can't imagine a better nose.

Taste - This is the bomb. It starts semi-sweet, almost candy-like but quickly ascends to a much stronger, multi-dimensional flavourful hop-ness. The flavor is big and juicy and very fruitful. A bit peachy, not at all a dry bitter hop, but wet. Notes include grapefruit citrius. The hops build after the first sip for an interminable period of time, eventually softened by the honey intermingled with the hops. The balance is awesome, softly taking one from that bitter hop experience found in the height of Ashbury Park to the calm, solitude of Arlington. Fallen soldiers don't exist here, only satisfaction, pure and simple.

Mouthfeel - This beer has a great mouthfeel, just a tad past medium with a thick, but slippery texture. The malt firmness structures this beer perfectly to suspend the delivery of the hops in a steady blast from start to finish.

Drinkability - This beer's depth of flavor and beautiful hop flavor is so well balanced (did I say balanced?) that one wonders how the label can be so misleading. Unknown to the casual drinker, this "biting, bitter, tongue bruiser" can easiliy sneak up on the drinker, rendering them useless to operate any tpe of machinery. This occurs, not due to the hops, but the awesome drinkability, whilst the 10% alcohol hits. I've found that, two bottles per night means an early bed time, but a great time getting there.

I'm going to enjoy the two cases tucked away in a cool place. 48 bottles means one bottle per week until next January.

Thanks for sharing, Larry Bell.

01-19-2009 04:47:00 | More by jebert
Photo of DrewOSU


4.33/5  rDev -3.6%

12 ounce bottle, served in a tulip, purchased at Belmont Party Source in Dayton, OH. Batch 8913, bottled 1/12/2009. Fresh!!

A: Poured a darkish orange to a very light amber color. ¼ inch head on initial pour, disappearing quickly to almost non existent. A small amount of watery, thin, white lacing that does not stick very long. Glass is totally clear of lacing after finishing.

S: A very pale nose with loud citrus notes. Subtle pine and slightly sour fruit qualities as well.

T: Initial malt taste, followed by a "slam" of dry accented pine, hoppiness. The aftertaste is all oily, bitter hops on the tongue and roof of the mouth. There was a lighter alcohol presence than I expected for being a 10% APV, however you can definitely detect it in the aftertaste. The alcohol seems very balanced or just overpowered by the immense hop taste.

MF: Medium body, very wet and slightly oily.

D: With the big hops and the high APV, there is no way I could drink more than one of these in a sitting. However, the bottle I did have was excellent from start to finish.

I first had Hopslam on tap at Dilly Deli in Marimont, OH last year, but I was excited to sit down and actually analyze it deeper this time around. I found this beer to be surprisingly easy to drink, but a total pallet killer all the same. It has taken me a while to do this review as new things come to me each time I take a drink. This is a very complex beer for a "hop bomb".

01-18-2009 22:37:14 | More by DrewOSU
Photo of beveritt


4.97/5  rDev +10.7%

Presentation: Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into an Imperial Pint glass. Label depicts legs and arms sticking out from underneath a large hop flower. Batch #8907, brewed on January 6, 2009 and sampled 10 days later.

Appearance: Pours with 1 1/2 fingers of nearly white head. Settles slowly into a very dense foam. Medium amount of lacing. Beer itself is golden with occasional bubble of activity. No sediment in the bottle.

Smell: Overwhelming floral hops with honey sweetness in the finish. More flower like than the traditional citrus or pine aromas from most dry-hopping.

Taste: Mouthfilling floral hops which fades almost imperceptibility into a strong hop bitterness. The full progression of hop flavors, from dry hopping ,through flavor hops, to the bitterness of isomerized humulone.

Mouthfeel: Average carbonation level. Body is great.

Drinkability: Awesome. Unlike any other IIPA/DIPA I have ever had. A truly unique experience.

01-18-2009 21:37:27 | More by beveritt
Photo of DIM


4.53/5  rDev +0.9%

Not much to say about this that hasn't already been said. Click on the highest reviews and picture me nodding in agreement. It might be through the power of suggestion, but I love the honey sweetness in this one. Some DIPAs have a "rough" sweetness. The honey, though, seems to smooth things out instead. I love this one. Just a fresh citric blast, hell yeah!

01-18-2009 19:28:37 | More by DIM
Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
99 out of 100 based on 9,765 ratings.